""note"" I inadvertently listed the National Catholic Register, an orthodox news paper for the National Catholic Reporter, the very liberal and non Catholic paper, and corrected this.
Adele Stan, Alternet’s Washington bureau Chief, recently published an article chastising the JPII Cultural Center for ‘offering a platform” for pro lifer Randall Terry and Missy Smith of WAKEUP. Ms. Stan, contacted the offices of the JPII Cultural Center and attempted to get a response from, and this is in effect, the conversation.
UPDATE: I called Susan Gibb, the communications director for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., whose archbishop, Donald Wuerl, sits on the executive committee of the John Paul II Cultural Center, for comment on whether he is comfortable with the fact that Randall Terry plans to speak at the institution Wuerl helps to lead.
The conversation was contentious. Gibb said the executive committee is not involved in the day-to-day booking of the center, and she became testy when I asked if the archbishop was comfortable with the idea of Terry speaking at the center. She told me I should call the Cultural Center, which I have, but a Brother Joseph simply referred me back to Missy Smith, the Randall Terry associate who booked the Cultural Center's facilities -- not to anyone on the Center staff who made the space available to Smith's group, Wake Up.
At one point during my conversation with Gibb, when I pressed to get a comment on whether Wuerl judged Terry to be an appropriate guest for the center, Gibb simply repeated her claim that the executive committee is not involved in the Cultural Center's bookings. "I'm sorry if you don't understand that," she said.
This particular conversation, and the way it is reported brings up a variety of issues. At the front end, it would seem that Ms. Stan has little to no knowledge about the Catholic position on abortion, what a Catholic in good standing means and what creed a believer follows versus a non believer.
One would think by reading Ms. Stan’s ‘interrogation’ of the staff at the JP II center, especially Ms. Gibbs, that the idea of standing up for the babies and promoting life is a foreign concept. After all, it was John Paul II, and may we add The Great, who made clear references that the right to life is the most premier and front issue facing the whole church, and needs to be defended to the utmost degree. Ms. Stan, the official Catholic position is the right to life, and the need to protect it. Randall Terry does just that, and it seems you don’t like that too much.
Ms. Stan’s badgering and bullying tactics are exactly what she accuses Randall Terry of, and this is her point in trying to ‘convey’ to the JP II center staff that Randall Terry is not appropriate to speak at the center. I can assure you, Ms. Stan, you definitely are not the appropriate person to decide this, nor do you carry any credible moral or ethical weight in this matter. Any Catholic in good standing cannot support an anti life positions and call themselves Catholic, and regardless of your position, you do not have the moral authority to make that judgment as you make it so abundantly clear you are anti life. You discussing a viable position to Catholics, is like a blind person telling the seeing what color the sky is.
What Ms. Stan does successfully convey in her posting, is how easily the church ‘caves’ on the issues, and how positions such as Ms. Stan’s are not challenged. It is truly a sad testimony of the weak and crippled position the Catholic Church has taken concerning the Right to Life issue, and how they will not stand up for it. Regardless of what one thinks about Randall Terry and his tactics, no one can dispute the fact he gets media attention and has forced the debate front and center. This is the job of the Church, and they have been derelict in their duty to do this. If the church truly understood the nature of the battle, that it is against powers and principalities unseen by the human eye, they would clearly understand that people standing up like Randall Terry, are drawing the wrath of demons and mobilizing the anti life crowd.
Ms. Stan wants to dictate the means in which the Catholic Church operates and what they can and cannot do concerning right to life issues. For someone who makes the claim “Don’t impose your will on us” Ms. Stan seems to have no issues imposing her will on the Church in general and the JP II Center in particular. No contradiction there? Very typical of these liberal thinkers, the use of logic is optional, and they have the air of snobbery and superior positions.
There would have been no need for a rude comeback to Ms. Stan, but regardless of who is speaking and what is going on at a seminar that had been approved by the center, Ms. Stan easily could have been told “We are taking a position advocated by John Paul II and the Catholic Church in general and presenting it to whomever wants to listen. If you believe this is in error, set up your own counter seminar at any planned parenthood, or abortion mill and have any speaker you would like”
The Church needs to get off this defensive, ‘embarrassed that some draw attention to this sensitive issue’ position, and take the lead in this fight, as God has instructed and expects. Since the Church is refusing to do so, people like Randall Terry are taking up the mantle, and yes, it is controversial, as most matters in morals are when dealing with an immoral society. The Church has lost its first love, and is more than happy to comply with the rules of men than God, in order to ‘get along’.
Now, moving onto how the ‘Lukewarm” trash warriors like Randall Terry, here is a real story published in the National Catholic Reporter, that validates the point that supposed pro lifers use harsher language on other pro lifers than the enemy, and simultaneously hold themselves “above the fray” when using the same tactics against the pro lifers as they are condemning.
Randall Terry Strikes Again!
by Michael Sean Winters on Jan. 06, 2010
• NCR Today
Randall Terry is at it again. The anti-abortion extremist has indulged in racist street theater directed at the President and his interview with Archbishop Raymond Burke last year raised eyebrows before eliciting a semi-apology from Burke for his criticism of brother bishops. Now, he is planning to participate in a training session held at the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. the weekend after the March for Life according to a report at Alternet.org. A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Washington said that the event was being organized not by Terry but by Missy Smith, who is affiliated with Insurrecta Nex, the renamed version of Terry’s Operation Rescue.
Terry is more than a nuisance. He undermines the credibility of the pro-life movement. In one video he released, he brings the body of an aborted fetus in front of the cameras, reducing a human tragedy to the status of a prop, exploiting the dignity of human life that he purports to champion.
Last year, conservatives, especially extreme pro-life conservatives, cited the USCCB document on “Catholics in Political Life” which said that Church facilities should not be used to host or promote those whose values are antithetical to the Church. Terry’s brand of hatefulness surely meets the criteria. He should not be permitted to use any church facilities, least of all one so prominent as the John Paul II Cultural Center. So far, no one from the John Paul II Center has returned a call asking for clarification.
This “article” would be laughable if it was not so pathetic and sad. If one did not know this story was published in the National Catholic Reporter, they would swear it came directly from NOW, Planned parenthood or any other of the enemies of pro lifers. One can look at the use of the language (emotional) Mr. Winters chooses to use that he has no real substance to his charges, and has to resort to name calling to make whatever point he is trying to make. What does this say about the integrity of the National Catholic Reporter, and its use of the word Catholic in its title if it does not represent the teachings of the Church? And Mr. Winters believes he is qualified to determine who should use what facilities?
It is people like Mr. Winters who are the hate spewing extremists, and somehow, manage to get into organizations that supposedly resemble a Catholic institution and spew drivel disguised as news. Get with the program, Mr. Winters. Decide whether you are Catholic or not and get on with it. Theological College 1986.